India: Muslims attack processions of Hindu festival Ram Navami in various states, like in 2022
On 30th March 2023, Ram Navami processions were attacked and violence erupted in various places across India, just like in 2022, when Muslims attacked and stoned processions of not just Ram Navami, as well as another Hindu festival Hanuman Jayanti. There were reports of stone-pelting and violence in many cities of the country. One person was killed in the state of West Bengal and one in the state of Maharashtra in these violent incidents. Apart from this, there have also been reports of stones pelting on the Shobha Yatra of Ram Navami in the states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Ram Navami or the birth anniversary of Lord Rama is an auspicious occasion in the Hindu calendar year. On that day, Hindus seek blessings from Lord Rama, provide food to the needy, perform rituals, take out processions, and so on. But Islamists have attacked these Ram Navami processions at many places in the country, as part of growing attacks on Hindu festivals.
Ram Navami processions attacked in Gujarat
A Ram Navami procession near Panjrigar mohalla in the Vadodara district of Gujarat was attacked by Islamists who pelted stones at the procession. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, confirming the attack stated that the attack was massive but the idol of Lord Rama was saved.
According to reports, as soon as the procession reached a mosque in the area under Fatehpura Garana Police Post, there was a dispute between the two parties over something. In no time, stones were thrown at the devotees involved in the procession from near the mosque.
Around 200-500 Muslims arrived on the street during the procession and began pelting stones at the procession and the Hindu participants. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s local office bearer Vishnubhai Prajapati stated that some vehicles including big cars were also damaged. The Ram Navami procession was planned and organized by the Karelibag sector of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Another incident of stone-pelting on the Ram Navami procession was also reported in the Kumbharwada area of Vadodara. Local BJP MLA Manisha Vakil was part of the procession which came under stone pelting in Kumbharwada. Vakil said that the procession was moving peacefully when there was sudden attack on it, and several people were injured in the attack. Stones were pelted from teraces of nearby houses.
Ram Navami processions attacked in Uttar Pradesh
In Uttar Pradesh, an incident of stone-pelting on a Ram Navami procession passing in front of a mosque was reported in the state’s capital Lucknow. A vehicle was vandalised in this dispute. The victims alleged that Muslim women indulged in this stone pelting.
This incident occurred in the Janakipuram area of the Lucknow police station area. Online news outlet OpIndia spoke to BJP leader Kuldeep Singh Rathore, convenor of this procession. Kuldeep Singh said that he had taken permission from the authorities for this procession, yet it became a victim of chaos.
At the time of the incident, the procession had not even started properly and a maximum of 50 people were gathering and preparing for further. No one involved in the procession had any argument with anyone nor did there be any dispute.
As soon as the procession came in front of the Shahi Masjid, women started throwing stones from the roofs and minor Muslim boys attacked the procession on road. During this time, 20 adult male attackers were also involved in this assault.
After enduring the assault by Islamists, Hindus in this procession had to face the wrath of the police separately. 7 participants in this procession were detained by the police instead of taking any action against the stone-pelters. The angry Hindus raised slogans against the police before the detained devotees were set free.
Ram Navami processions attacked in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, Hindu processions were attacked in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (formerly known as Aurangabad), Jalgaon, and Mumbai. On March 29, Wednesday night, two groups clashed in the Kiradpura area of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, hurling stones and setting vehicles on fire.
The violence erupted at a time when Hindu youths were preparing for the Ram Navami celebrations the next day near a Ram temple in the Kiradpura area.
The clashes in the Kiradpura started after a fight broke out between two people outside the said Ram Temple. The situation worsened when more people arrived at the scene and started throwing stones at one another, according to the police, who also stated that the crowd set several police and public vehicles on fire outside the temple.
A fight broke out between two groups when DJ music was played as a Hindu dharmik procession passed by a mosque in Paldhi, in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. On Tuesday, 28th March 2023, several people led the Dindi Yatra, which was supposed to proceed to Saptashringi Garh. Unknown miscreants threw stones at the yatra participants as the procession passed through the village of Paldhi, which infuriated the participants and led to vandalism. Three private vehicles were reportedly vandalized. In addition to this, a police jeep was set on fire and three persons were injured.
A Ram Navami procession in the Malvai region of Mumbai’s Malad suburb was attacked by an Islamist mob as it passed by a Masjid near gate no. 7 area. The Islamists attacked the procession by pelting stones and also forced the loudspeakers to be shut in the area.
One of the locals identified as Tajindar Tiwana revealed that the loudspeakers were shut by the Hindus way before they reached the area near Masjid. However, the Muslims still attacked the procession and pelted stones at it as it passed by the Masjid.
Ram Navami processions attacked in West Bengal
In West Bengal, clashes broke out between two communities during a Ram Navami procession in the Dalkhola area of Islampur town of North Dinajpur. One person was killed and 5-6 policemen were injured in clashes in a Muslim-dominated area. The Bengal Police is saying that the cause of the young man’s death is a heart attack. In West Bengal, Muslims are 27% of the population officially as per the 2011 census, with Hindus being 70%, while their actual population is estimated to be even more.
In Howrah, miscreants pelted stones at a Ram Navami procession and set several vehicles on fire. The incident took place in Shibpur, Howrah. In a video that has gone viral on social media, people are seen pelting stones at the procession from rooftops.
A clash was also about to erupt at the Park Circus area in Kolkata but the police prevented it. A rally of around 250 bikes was taken out on the occasion of Ram Navami. As the rally reached a mosque in the Park Street area, Hindus participating in the rally encountered a group of Muslims gathered there for offering namaz. A minor scuffle broke out between the two groups. But the police force reached the spot and took the situation under control by dispersing the two groups.
2 stabbed after 2 groups clash as Ram Navami procession crosses mosque in Karnataka’s Hassan
Violence erupted after two groups clashed when a Ram Navami procession was passing by a mosque in Karnataka’s Hassan on Thursday (30 March 2023). Two people sustained injuries after being stabbed during the attacks, police said.
According to police, a total of four people were injured and three of them were identified as Murali, Harsha, and Rakhi, all from the Hindu community.
Quoting a complaint, police said two miscreants from a different group (read Muslims) entered the rally, stabbed the four people, and fled the scene.
ALSO READ | 1 dead, several others injured during Ram Navami procession in Bengal’s Dalkhola
The incident took near Channarayapatna when Bajrang Dal activists were holding a Ram Navami rally.
Police said when the procession reached a mosque on Begur road, two people engaged in an argument with the Bajrang Dal activists and stabbed four people.
ALSO READ | 2 groups clash, hurl stones over Ram Navami procession in front of Lucknow mosque
Meanwhile, another complaint has been filed, where Azhar Ahmed has claimed that a few people in the procession were carrying stones and canes with them, police said.
Ahmed told police that people who were a part of the rally shouted slogans such as “Muslims should be chased to Pakistan” and “they should not stay here”.
ALSO READ | Ram Navami Clashes LIVE: Case against 200 as violence erupts in Bihar, situation tense in Bengal
He claimed that he was rounded up by some of the Bajrang Dal activists, while others hurled stones at his vehicle and him. He alleged that 15 to 20 people tried to attack him and he escaped the spot with the help of two others.
After a preliminary investigation, police termed the incident a ‘minor scuffle’ and arrested nine people.
Several incidents of violence were reported from across the country between groups during the Ram Navami celebrations on Thursday (30 March 2023). A case has been registered against 200 unidentified people after violence erupted during the Ram Navami procession in Bihar’s Munger. It has been alleged that when the procession entered the Hazratganj Mohalla area some objectionable words were spoken.
Shobha Yatra in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area
On 30th March 2023, a procession of Ram Navami was taken out in Jahangirpuri on the occasion of Rama Navami. Earlier on Monday (March 27), the Office of the Police Commissioner (north-west Delhi) had denied permission for carrying out an idol procession during Ram Navami in the Jahangirpuri area of Delhi.
However, Hindus in Jahangirpuri peacefully carried out a procession on the occasion of Ram Navami. Notably, a heavy police force was deployed in Jahangirpuri at the time of this procession. The deployed police force was seen protecting the processions.
On April 16 last year, a Hanuman Jayanti procession was attacked by Islamists in the Jahangirpuri area of Delhi. The procession was moving peacefully but was stopped by one Ansar Sheikh and his accomplice near the Jama Masjid.
An English daily reported that a day after communal clashes broke out over Ram Navami celebrations in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar on 30 March 2023, fresh incidents of violence were reported from West Bengal and Bihar on Friday (31 March 2023) too, while situation remained tense in all the affected States. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2023/page1/ram-navami-clashes-go-on-unabated.html